Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Stroll

This morning we went hiking.  We were in the Angeles National Forest, the roads through which the transportation department had recently opened after the recent heavy rains that passed through a week or so ago.

The air was clear and crisp, and our drive into the mountains easy and without note.  We drove to a hiking head, just West of the Wrightwood area called Jasper Heights.

The first thing I noticed when we got out of our SUV was that there were little creeks with active water running through them, again, probably due to the recent rains.  I have spent a lot of time in the San Gabriel Mountains, and they are often bone dry.  So it was a treat to see so much greenery right off.

We ascended a small, gentle trail, which skirted the creek for about two miles, then turned inward toward a canyon.  All the while, we were surrounded by a thicket of trees and plants full of singing birds and could see about 10 meters in front and in back of us at any point.

We came upon an old concrete structure, which seemed out of place in the natural environment we were in.  It was in the hillside, which I take to mean was probably an old mine entrance of some sort.  I have seen a lot of abandoned mines in Joshua Tree and the surrounding areas, but this was my first in the Angeles National Forest. 

As we continued on, the trail became steeper and we found ourselves climbing rock that formed steps for the trail.  And after about an hour of hiking, we decided to turn back.

From our vantage point, which I would guess was about 3000 feet, we could see the flats of the Mojave Desert though the trees which had gotten more sparse as we had gained altitude.

Our return down the trail was a bit faster since it was a descent, and we then got into our SUV and found a diner off of the road on the desert side of the mountains.  They fixed us some eggs, pancakes and o.j.  It was a nice way to wake up on a Sunday.